which spy series is better?

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Originally Posted by bleacheddecay
[Angela Lansbury's Jessica Fletcher] was a spy?
Of course not, he was just looking for an excuse to work in that chicken line. It's like the Algonquin Round Table is buzzing again, ain't it?
__________________
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



Celluloid Temptation Facilitator
I didn't think so. I never watched the show.

I did meet a lovely lady rather like Angela Lansbury who actually was a spy.

She would bring in high tea each afternoon at a hotel in San Diego and talk about her M15 (?) spy adventures from back in the day.

She made an other wise dreary business trip quite enchanting.



How are the Bourne films not spy films?
Where's the spying? He's a guy who lost his memory and people are out to kill him.
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All secrets are safe with this man, because none are as deadly to him as his own. His secret is that he is Richard Kimble. (The Fugitive - Conspiracy of Silence)



You're right--Mission: Impossible was a great TV series, starring Peter Graves, James Arness' "little" brother and Martin Landau and his wife (whose name escapes me now), but a silly film.
I remembered it as a great series but have been watching some recently and not so great. Another disappointment was watching Man from UNCLE again. They seemed to only have one plot and it was all variations on that.

Barbara Bain was his wife.



&feature=related
What a great musical treat, Mark! It's been years since I've heard that song, but it was a little embarassing to see what passed for dancing during the '60s.

I always thought Johnny Rivers had a strange career in that he seems mostly to have covered tunes that were hits for other folks, like "Tracks of my Tears." The only original tunes I can remember him doing were "Secret Agent Man" and "Slow Dancing." Decades later, country singer Johnny Duncan recorded the definitive seductive version of "Slow Dancing" that stoked many a hot romance in Texas honkey tonks!



A system of cells interlinked
Where's the spying? He's a guy who lost his memory and people are out to kill him.
He was an agent before he lost his memory, part of a special group of operatives trained by the CIA.

Here is the summary from IMDB:

"On a stormy night, the spy thriller opens as an amnesiac is rescued at sea by the crew of an Italian fishing boat. Nearly dead, he carries nothing but the bullets in his back and the bank account number embedded in his hip. Although completely without identity or background, he possesses an array of extraordinary talents in fighting, linguistics and self-defense that speak of a dangerous past. In the present he is disoriented and wary as he is propelled into an urgent search to discover who he is and why his life has taken a perilous turn."

So, as you can see, although the film certainly isn't a potboiler "Steal the microfilm" plot line, it can be, and clearly IS considered, by most of the world, to be a spy film. Therefore it qualifies as such for this discussion.
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I adored the original series. It was very cool how they'd get the bad guys to do their dirty work for them.

From the moment they made Mr. Phelps the bad guy in the first movie I was done. That angered me and turned me off completely.

Oh for the good old days of Rollin Hand, and Cinnamon Carter played by Barbra Bain! My favorite female on the show however was the lovely Linda Day George. I adored Greg Morris too. They did bad, impossible things and they did them well.
Of course, Barbara Bain! She and Landau were great as Roland and Cinnamon! And I agree--when I heard they were going to make Phelps the heavy in the movie, I knew there was no reason to see it (especially since I can't stand Cruise)
The Flint movies were great parodies back when parodies were actually put together with some class and intelligence.
Did you ever see The President's Analyst in which James Coburn plays a shrink who is picked to be the analyst for the President? Coburn bolts after the job becomes too much for him, and then secret agents from every country in the world are trying to kidnap or kill him. Comedians Godfrey Cambridge and Severn Darden stole that picture!



I always thought that the perfect final episode for the TV series Murder, She Wrote would be for Mrs. Fletcher finally to be arrested as a mass murderer who for years had been killing people and framing others for her crime. The one thing in common with all those murders was that she was always around!



Probably the best secret agent TV series of the 1960s was the British-made Man in a Suitcase with a silver-haired US method actor Richard Bradford who attracted notice as one of the guys who beat the poo out of Marlon Brando in a very bad 1966 film, The Chase.

Suitcase replaced the Danger Man (Secret Agent in the US) series after Patrick McGoohan left that show to create The Prisoner. Many of the Secret Agent production crew went over to the Suitcase series.

Bradford, the only regular actor in the series, played a bitter ex-CIA agent known only as McGill (Mac to his few friends). The series starts 6 years after Mac has been kicked out of The Company for failing to stop a top western scientist from defecting to the Soviet Union. Actually, McGill was about to stop the turncoat when his superior ordered hands off. But the superior had since drowned in a boating accident, and McGill gets full blame for the screw up. Basically, he’s kicked out onto the streets of London with no money, no weapons, no backup, and maybe even no passport since he can’t return to the US and seems always to be dodging British police who might arrest him as an illegal alien. This of course keeps him on the move, living day by day out of his suitcase, hence the title, Man in a Suitcase.

Meanwhile, he picks up a few dollars as a backstreet private detective and bounty hunter. People who hire him often are unscrupulous and involve him in crimes or set him up as the fall guy for crimes. Sometimes former pals from the CIA blackmail him into taking on some nasty espionage missions that would give the US deniability if he is caught. Meanwhile, he discovers that his former boss is still alive but working as a sailor on a Soviet freighter so that he can act as a courier of information from the scientist who is actually a double agent.

The series was considered to be unusually violent for that period, with McGill getting beaten almost constantly and occasionally shot or stabbed. Unlike James Bond and other secret agents of the screen, McGill didn’t just pick himself up, dust himself off, and go on to the next adventure. Many of the episodes ended with him in the hospital from his injuries. That set Suitcase apart from other lighter spy series like The Avengers or Man from UNCLE.

In one episode that sticks in my mind, McGill is in a room in a hotel that is staked out by agents from Bulgaria or Turkey or some such place who are out to kill him because of something he had done years before when he was in the CIA. McGill knows he’s trapped and has nothing with which to defend himself as the assassins close in. And he can’t get anyone to help him, not even his former CIA buddies. So McGill gets one of those tall, standing hat racks and puts it a few feet inside the door to his room puts a hat on top of it, puts his jacket on a hotel coat-hanger and hangs it about shoulder-high on the back of the hat rack and buttons it in front. Then he douses the whole thing with lighter fluid and torches it just as two gunmen kick in the door to be surprised by what looks at first glance to be a man in flames. McGill takes advantage of the surprise to bust one over the head with a table lamp or vase, slips by the other and runs like a rabbit to make his escape. May not sound like much, but you should have seen it play out so realistically.



I am burdened with glorious purpose
I always thought that the perfect final episode for the TV series Murder, She Wrote would be for Mrs. Fletcher finally to be arrested as a mass murderer who for years had been killing people and framing others for her crime. The one thing in common with all those murders was that she was always around!
rufneck, Funny! That's a great idea!

I loved that show. I watched it every Sunday night with my husband. First, we would guess who would get killed -- my husband was always right -- and then we'd guess who did it. I was better at that part. Gosh, I loved my Sunday nights! First, 60 Minutes, then Murder She Wrote!

In retrospect, I can't believe I spent so many hours watching that show with it's rather silly stories, but I just loved Angela. I wanted to grow up and be Mrs. Fletcher. I wanted a nice little house in Cabot Cove surrounded by a picket fence and have friends that would drop in for pie.

I still have that fantasy.



Celluloid Temptation Facilitator
Of course, Barbara Bain! She and Landau were great as Roland and Cinnamon! And I agree--when I heard they were going to make Phelps the heavy in the movie, I knew there was no reason to see it (especially since I can't stand Cruise)


Did you ever see The President's Analyst in which James Coburn plays a shrink who is picked to be the analyst for the President? Coburn bolts after the job becomes too much for him, and then secret agents from every country in the world are trying to kidnap or kill him. Comedians Godfrey Cambridge and Severn Darden stole that picture!
Nope, but I want to see it now! I'll see if my library has it! Thanks!



rufneck, Funny! That's a great idea!

I loved that show. I watched it every Sunday night with my husband. First, we would guess who would get killed -- my husband was always right -- and then we'd guess who did it. I was better at that part. Gosh, I loved my Sunday nights! First, 60 Minutes, then Murder She Wrote!

In retrospect, I can't believe I spent so many hours watching that show with it's rather silly stories, but I just loved Angela. I wanted to grow up and be Mrs. Fletcher. I wanted a nice little house in Cabot Cove surrounded by a picket fence and have friends that would drop in for pie.

I still have that fantasy.
We're in agreement on Angela--there has never been a bad piece of film with that woman in it! And I think she kept her looks as she aged.

Speaking of fantasies, my family name is Fletcher. But the Gulf Coast where I live is quite different from Cabot Cove in New England. In fact, here in Houston we are still digging out the rubble from Hurricane Ike and it's even worse in Galveston.



Registered Creature
Spy Kids owns all.

;]



Now that this has degraded to Austin Powers I would like to agree concernng Harry Palmer, great addition. But between Bond and Mission Impossible I would have to go with Bond because first of all Bond I believe is just this fantasy idea of spies and MI is just this mediocre at best film series that could disappear and no one would really miss it. I'm kind of rambling here but c'mon Connery in his prime was just so much more watchable than Tom Cruise could ever be. Just one man's opinion.